An article in the July 21 issue of The Star about Anthony Petrello’s plans to demolish a cottage on Sagaponack land he purchased from the White family and build a larger guest house in its place contained several errors.
While the article said that Mr. Petrello’s right of first refusal to purchase most of the remaining acreage of White farm was “in fine print,” both of Mr. Petrello’s legal counsels said that that portion of the contract was in 12-point print, as was everything else in the contract.
The Petrellos signed a contract to purchase the land in 1998, not in 1995, but closing was to be delayed until the White family secured approval from Southampton Town to divide the farm into seven parcels, three of which were to go to the Petrellos.
It is then that the legal dispute between the Petrellos and the White family began. In 2008, the Whites also sued their former attorney, Edward Reale, and his firm in connection with the rights of first refusal portion of the contract.
At the Sagaponack Architectural and Historic Review Board’s July 15 meeting, a resolution approving the demolition of the cottage was read by the board’s secretary, not by Ann Sandford, the board chairman.
Quoting from that resolution, the article said that the cottage had been “historically maintained”; however, the quote was incomplete and its meaning was therefore unclear. The full quote was: “The subject cottage is one of a number of cottages historically maintained and rented out by the White family.” The resolution goes on to note that the “cottage was altered at some point,” and that “neglect of maintenance of the cottage appears evident. . . .”
Alison Cornish, who was identified in the article as being with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, had commented on the condition of the cottage as part of a report she prepared while engaged as a historic preservation consultant by Southampton Town prior to Sagaponack’s incorporation as a village.